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Will Users Get a Slice of the "Big Data" Pie? 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
curtwoodward writes "Better healthcare, more efficient government, cheaper goods and services — it's all possible in the age of 'big data.' According to the big companies hoping to make a killing off all that information, anyway. But will the people generating that valuable data — Joe and Jane Consumer — ever get a piece of the action? A few startups are trying to establish first-party marketplaces for personal data, compensating users directly for contributing high-quality information about themselves. The World Economic Forum is also involved, hoping that one day, 'a person's data would be equivalent to their money ... controlled, managed, exchanged and accounted for just like personal banking services operate today.' But some entrepreneurs think it might be too late in the developed world, where a consumer's data fingerprint is already very well documented."
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Will Users Get a Slice of the "Big Data" Pie?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:13PM (#43898875)

    Big data is nothing but a scam. No one will ever make money from this data, except the people who sell it.
    The purchasers are suckers, just like people who pay spammers to send spam.

  • Damn you Pavlov! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:14PM (#43898899)
    You know, my BS meter is starting to get attuned to go off anytime I see 'Big <X>' used as a proper noun.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:19PM (#43898943) Journal

    If "'a person's data would be equivalent to their money ... controlled, managed, exchanged and accounted for just like personal banking services operate today.'" is the optimistic-pie-in-the-sky vision of the future, I think it's safe to say that we are 100% fucked.

    Financial services is not... exactly... a shining beacon of customer service, egalitarian contracting, and transparency, and the deal gets worse the smaller your scale. If that's the ideal, the outcome seems likely to be grim indeed.

  • by Seumas (6865) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:19PM (#43898955)

    Instead of giving me a piece of the action - give me the option not to be part of the action in the first place. My privacy and ownership of my own data and control over who can have it and do what with it is infinitely more valuable than a couple dollars.

  • They already do (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:20PM (#43898969) Journal

    Discounts on groceries, gasoline, hotels, airline flights, free meals, free email, social network accounts, streaming music, streaming TV. We're getting compensated for our data, and those who do not participate are both less compensated and less tracked.

    Now, if you're wondering whether individuals will become the sellers of their data for their financial gain - no. The value in data is in large aggregation of both quantitative (age, sex, ethnicity) and qualitative (likes, interests, behaviours) so that groups can be targeted for whatever an entity is looking for. You are not a beautiful jewel in a sea of dull pebbles, and even if you were you're value in paving the road to advertising is just that of a dull pebble. You don't go buy your stone a pebble at a time, you buy it from someone who has a quarry full and can give it to you by the truckload.

    The value in personal data lies in the value many have in aggregate (get it - stones, aggregate - Ha!). It's not surprising that we will never find value in our personal data except to us, and those who market will have to have billions of data points. The value isn't great enough to warrant negotiation with every individual.

  • Bunch of fools (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Synerg1y (2169962) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:21PM (#43898971)

    Individually your data is worth nothing, when summarized it provides trends and statistics, when integrated it can vastly improve the healthcare system and make the government run smoother.

    The first market personal data collectors seem like fly by night type people who don't really know what they're doing. I mean the very concept of willingly giving data for money screams put your best foot forward, greatly skewing the data and making it worthless.

  • Re:They already do (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 03, 2013 @04:03PM (#43899349)

    Discounts on groceries, gasoline, hotels, airline flights, free meals, free email, social network accounts, streaming music, streaming TV. We're getting compensated for our data, and those who do not participate are both less compensated and less tracked.

    How much of these "discounts" would people be availing themselves of if their spending habits weren't being engineered by Big Data et. al. in the first place?

    Or did you want that house full of pointless crap and that extra 30 lbs. of fat?

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